The Wind in Your Sails

Public;Cruising5;BoatsNew Year’s resolutions can be, to say the least, challenging to keep.  That’s because we’re all creatures of habit.  We all prefer familiarity and regularity.  Even if spontaneity is your thing, you still like it on a regular basis!  If a new activity or behavior feels fairly uncomfortable, we’re far less likely to prioritize it or make a commitment to doing it.  But that’s the rub!  We have to get used to being uncomfortable and dealing with the unfamiliar to gradually get over that discomfort in order to form the new habit and make it feel normal, everyday, easy and routine.  It’s like starting a new job.  At first it’s all new – the people, the tasks, the expectations, the environment – it’s all strange.  But then you work there a while and make friends, get to know the place, get the job done and make peace with it.  It’s just a matter of time and commitment.  A new habit can be formed in three to four weeks.  That’s how long it takes our neurology to adjust to new behaviors becoming regular parts of our body-mind complex.

comfy_zone1Consistency is everything when it comes to reprogramming your behavior.  Whether it’s a new exercise routine, a special nutrition program, letting go of a bad habit like smoking or resetting your clock to wake up earlier it takes daily discipline to shift into the new regimen.  Without that daily reinforcement, the body-mind has no idea what you really expect from it and reverts to it’s old patterns of behavior because it knows how to manage your actions in that framework.  There really isn’t any simpler formula when it comes to changing any aspect of your life: take time daily to engage in the new activity or behavior and gradually, step by step, day by day, it will become a new habit and feel like a second skin.  The same applies to letting go of an old habit: commit to daily positive reinforcement and watch those outmoded patterns melt away.

sail3It’s also useful to replace an old habit you want to drop with a more desirable habit you wish to enact.  If you’re trying to let go of a smoking habit or over-eating, you’ll want to program daily activities like exercise, quality time with friends and family, working on a project, practicing a hobby, getting out of the house, getting involved in your community and making time to laugh, sing, dance and enjoy life.  So much of developing and maintaining healthy habits has to do with your interest level.  Find the activities you enjoy most and those will more than likely become your habits for life.  What’s your goal, honestly?  Is it something worth dealing with temporary discomfort to achieve?  Setting sail with your goals in mind is always a commendable intention but you must put the systems in place to achieve that goal or you wind up doing more wishing than willing the changes you want.  The systems are your sails.  Do what you love and do it well all the time and you’ll create a pattern of success that can direct you toward any destination.

boat_safe_HarbourSo, if the wind feels like it’s left your sails and you’re meandering in a sea of old habits with not much motivation to make the changes you know will improve your health and happiness, breathe new life into those proverbial sails by taking on an empowering daily routine for about thirty days.  Stay focused and determined for just that long and you’ll realize you’ve adopted a new, positive behavior that will change the course of your life for the better.  You can do anything (within reason) for a month!  I challenge you to try your best everyday, for just a month, and guarantee you’ll discover a more powerful, uncompromising side of yourself that you’ll love, cherish and respect for having given you the chance to keep the promises you’ve made to yourself.  By February you’ll be a new person and glad you took my challenge!  Best of luck and do report back… I’m always thrilled to hear about your progress!sail_quote2

~Be the wind, the sail, the goal and the journey… and be well!

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Dream On!

dreamer1

Never discount the power and value of your dreams…

Dreams become goals… Goals become plans… Plans become actions…

Actions become manifestations of reality…

dreams_come_true

Dreams are just as real as anything else in life… They are actual things, like sunlight and shadow, wind and rain…

They are as real as seeds and when we water them with time, effort, energy and faith…

They become bright flowers and mighty trees.  All good things have their roots in imagination!

dream_faith

So dream on and keep your hopes alive by taking small steps and having big beliefs…

Plant the seeds of wishing, water them everyday and see what beauty blossoms…

Dream deeply, broadly and wildly, making reality match your desires… confident your visions will be met.

Become a catcher of dreams… hold your dreams dearly and do what you must to make them visible to all… so your light may shine on the world!

~DJ

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Zen Insight

See_Into_SelfBodhi-Dharma, the first patriarch of Zen Buddhism, wrote that, “if you wish to seek the Buddha (enlightenment), you ought to see into your own nature; for nature is the Buddha himself.” Seeing your true self, the self that is connected to all of life and the universe, is what sets you free to fully understand and be at peace with your existence.  We cannot escape the divine miracle of being.  If we deny or ignore the majesty of our presence, we reject it’s inherent gift.  To look away from that light is to believe in the shadow’s truth.  The truth is there is no duality.  There is only one truth but our awareness makes us question, is your truth valid or is mine?  Who’s truth is best?  The answer, in Zen terms, is “None.  Both.  Either.  Neither.”  What you have learned, compared, contrasted, debated, doubted, trusted and taken as your truth is merely a choice, defined by your mind.  Beyond that dissecting, discerning, dividing self there is a truer self that knows all is One.

Boddhidharma3You are the light and the shadow.  You perceive the sun’s illuminating brilliance and cast the shadow that seems so real.  You are the reflection and the mirror, all in one.  Accept the light and shade and you come to see into your own nature.  What we embrace, we become, as much as what we avoid.  In all things, there is you.  In the stars, in the world, inside you, all around you, in the void and in the vastness of all that is, there you are.  What you think and believe becomes what you do, becomes you.  You and the Buddha are already One, simply by the act of your perceiving him.

Hui_Neng1Zen master Hui-Neng said, “from the first, not a thing is.”  I believe this to mean that since the advent of creation no other separate thing has been created and all things we see are woven into one indivisible truth of being.  Doesn’t that make you feel the depth and height of the miracle you are?  You exist and nothing can erase or replace that beautiful truth.  Be detached, free of form, free of mind, free of words and ideas, undisturbed by cause and effect, and there you’ll find the oneness and unity of your nature, your true self, moment by wondrous moment, breath by sacred breath, in meditation as in living.

Socrates_Unexamined_Life

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10 to Zen: Chants

om_mandala_faveChanting, like singing, can be a tremendously healing and affirmative way of making your life more rewarding, creative and tranquil.  Vocalizing certain vowel sounds actually vibrates energy centers in the body known as “Chakras” in Eastern Medicine.  These “energy wheels” can become imbalanced due to stress, trauma or negativity which, in turn, throws off the function of the body’s systems, especially the nervous and endocrine (hormone) systems, immune response and digestive organs.  Below are Buddhist chants, or mantras, that have been used for thousands of years to restore a sense of balance, peace and calm to the body and emotions and to enlighten the mind.

Vibrating or resonating the body through the use of vocalizations has also been found to heal the body from habitual tension and uneasiness as a form of “sound therapy,” similar to the effects of attunement with ambient and classical music.  The following chants are easy to learn and are pronounced phonetically or as their spelling indicates.  Their use is far-reaching as a tool for meditation, relaxation and higher learning.  Start with one a day, like the sacred “Om” (the symbol depicted in the mandala above).  Really notice how vibrating the sounds involved makes you feel.  The meaning of the chants will come intuitively, but I’ve included some basic translations below.

zen_lightBuddhist chants are typically repeated in cycles of nine, a sacred spiritual number, and can often extend to between thirty-six and one-hundred-eight repetitions.  But, like I said, start with just one chant, repeated nine times in a row each day and see how it makes you feel.  If you like it, add more repetitions or more chants.  I hope they bring you the health, wealth, wisdom and happiness they’ve brought me, my clients and millions of people worldwide.  Happy chanting!

10 Buddhist Chants to Energize, Enrich and Enlighten Your World:

1. Chant “Om” or “Aum” nine times in a row to find inner peace.

2. Chant “Om Sharavana Bhavaya Namaha” nine times to show your openness to receiving good and your gratitude for all you have to give and share.

3. Chant “Om Mani Padme Hum” to proclaim that you are guided to do good and your heart and head are united in making your life peaceful, purposeful and prosperous.

4. Chant “Aham Prema” to feel inner love and proclaim divine love within your life.

5. Chant “Om Shri Ram” to heal your body and promote better health in those you love.

6. Chant “Om Shanti Om” for peace in your life, in all of humankind and in the universe.

7. Chant “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha” for good luck, removing obstacles, gaining wisdom and increasing wealth and abundance in one’s life.

8. Chant “So Hum Ham Sa” to connect with your higher spiritual awareness and greater intuition.

9. Chant “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” to devote yourself to higher truth, beauty and goodness in an open and peaceful way.  This chant revives one’s purpose.

10. Chant “Lang Vang Rang Yang Ham Om Aum” to align the chakras and connect with their innate power for healing, inner peace, wisdom, creativity and compassion.

10-to-ZenAnother great approach to discovering the healing and enlightening effects of sound therapy and resonance attunement is to read Jonathan Goldman’s book “Healing Sounds” and research his website and association dedicated to exploring the positive effects of sound vibration on the body and mind.  Here’s a sample of the work he does: Chakras, 7 Minute Tune Up.  I hope you enjoy his breakthrough sound therapies as much as I have.  Please contact me or leave a comment if you need further advice or instruction in how chanting mantras and sound therapy can improve your sense of health and well-being.

In all you think, in all you do, in all you are – be well! ~Namaste

 

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Zen Mastery

zen_master

There is no duality.  What exists is without give or take.

There is only One reality.  It’s the one You make.

Become the master of your mind.  Into your nature, see what is true.

All that you believe you become.  Nothing is fixed but the sky is blue.

~DJ

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Mandala for Peace

mandala_peace

Let peace be your meditation.  Contemplate its power in your world.  Allow yourself to be hypnotized by its beauty, its truth.  Dream of peace.  Pray for it.  Work for its attainment more and more everyday.  Become a harbinger for peace.  Find the piece inside you that is your peace and nurture it.  As you breathe that peacefulness in, be fulfilled by it.  As you exhale that peaceful feeling know you’re spreading its divine power everywhere.  Your peace becomes a mighty wind to blow away the storms of fear, pain, greed, hatred and sorrow.  It becomes the love, light and peace of the world.

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Celebrate You!

life_celebrate_color

When you are full of love there is no room for fear.

When you give freely there is no space for lack.

If you’re open and receptive no door will remain closed.

If you’re forever grateful there is always more to be thankful for.

Inspire, illuminate and elevate the world with your special magic and so you will be encouraged to spread more of your love and light.

There is a miracle inside you awaiting expression; a wonder and beauty beyond measure.

Celebrate the greatness you have to share.  Only good can come of your generosity.

~DJ

Martha-Graham-quote

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